- Continue strengthening relationships with the key teachers and principal, providing them with information, updates, photos, blog and resources.
- Continue to communicate with the wider community about protecting and enhancing biodiversity in Omokoroa and Plummers Point via articles on the school website, school newsletter (going our to over 300 local residents) and Wild NZ blog.
- Contact local volunteer conservation community group/s.
Theme – Forest ecology and mini beasts
- Learn to identify common native trees and plants in their schools and local areas.
- Learn why our native forests are important and the role they play in our ecosystem.
- Learn how and why we monitor insect populations.
- Students walked around the school and learnt how to correctly identify the common native tree species and plants within their school grounds.
- Students selected a native tree or plant and learnt how to make a QR code for it. Students selected the best website before creating their QR code, so other students, teachers, classes can follow our trail, scan the code and discover what the tree/plant is and useful information about it.
- Students participated in a leaf shape scavenger hunt, brought back their finding to the group then identified which leaves came from which trees and plants using ID guide books.
- Wild about NZ students supported the Environment team with their bug motels, by getting each class to fill their box with different materials in which bugs could live. The boxes are now completed and displayed at the school. We look forward to checking our what’s living in there in 2019!
- Students visited the Blade forest and did a nature “colour” walk where they found all the colours of the rainbow in nature + 3 koura found in the stream.
Theme – Overheard the bird (native & non-native bird species)
- Students learned to identify the birds in their local areas and the purpose of bird monitoring in predator control projects.
- Students, teachers and parent helpers contributed to annual bird surveys (using 5 minute bird counts) and added information to the Wild NZ database
- The students learned how to correctly identify the most common bird species in their area and gained basic bird call knowledge.
- We investigated local threats to native bird populations
- We practised 5-minute & 1-hour bird surveys at two sites (school grounds & at Huharua Reserve). Finding out about flight patterns & behaviour helped students identify birds too.
- The students visited Huharua Reserve at the end of Plummers Pt Rd and observed the birds on the point and around the estuary. Matching bird’s beaks and feet to where it lives and what it eats was a great detective exercise.
- Students visited Puketoki Reserve and conducted 5 min bird counts of forest birds, many of which are likely to fly down to parts of Omokoroa to feed.
- Wild students participated in two citizen science projects; the annual garden bird survey in July & the Great Kereru Count in September.
- Students created kereru window protectors.
Theme – Pest Preventers
Omokoroa No.1 School students:
- Used a variety of pest monitoring methods (including tracking tunnels and chew cards) to locate pest animals in and around the school grounds.
- Learned how to identify pest footprints and teeth marks/chew marks on chew cards using identification guides. Tracked mice & insects.
- Visited The Blade with Scott Sambell (Ethos Environmental). Scott brought along his rat dog Milly and demonstrated the awesomeness of Milly’s predator tracking skills by hiding a frozen rat for her to find. He also bought along some of the equipment he uses in the field, including a night camera. Afterwards we walked a trapline and discussed the predator control in place.
- Learned how to identify pest footprints and teeth marks/chew marks on chew cards using identification guides.
- Created “Wanted” pest posters for displays at school.
- Participated in the national Landcare Research Garden Bird survey and added bird counts to the database.
A big thankyou to Jose Law (Pest Free Omokoroa), Francis Orr and Peter Cross (Te Puna Quarry Park), Mark Ray (BOPRC), Scott Sambell (Ethos Environmental) and the Pennell family (Blade Project).
Theme – Clean Streams
- Introduction session to a classroom of year 5 & 6 students, learning about where our water comes from (visual and interactive session), healthy stream vs unhealthy stream activity and watched a short film on how to identify macro-invertebrates to bring it all together.
- Assessment of local stream health (Emeny Rd) rural semi-bush clad stream, close to the school. Students observed and recorded the streams surroundings and features. They then tested the water clarity, temperature, Ph test, stream velocity and searched for macroinvertebrates using nets. Using all these monitoring techniques the students decided that the stream was moderately healthy. Results recorded.
- Identification of macroinvertebrates to help assess the stream health.
- Macro photography of invertebrates
- Students are presenting their findings back to their peers regularly using posters and slide presentations they have created. A display was also put up in the multi-media room.
- Students also visited the stream in Puketoki reserve (bush clad stream) and assessed its health. This stream is nicely shaded by native forest, providing cool, clear, fast moving water. A very healthy habitat for native invertebrates to thrive in. Results recorded.
- Eel net and minnow trap set in Puketoki. 1 long fin caught and 5 koura.
- Long fin eel activity given to the teachers.